A 27-YEAR-OLD man who took topless photos of three women while they were sleeping and kept the images on his mobile phone has avoided a prison sentence.

Alexander Degnan admitted three counts of voyeurism at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

He also pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault as one of the photos showed his hands touching one of the women's breasts.

Degnan's crime only came to light when a partner noticed he had a large amount of images on his phone.

When she looked through them she recognised images of herself and other females that she knew.

The woman called the police and Degnan was arrested and his mobile phone seized.

Depute fiscal Joanna Waller told a previous hearing: "All the witnesses were unaware that the images had been taken."

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He no longer has any contact with any of the women involved.

Degnan pleaded guilty to taking a photograph of a female's breasts while she was sleeping under a duvet at a house in Jedburgh, between 2016 and 2019.

He also admitted sexually assaulting a female on December 31, 2019 by touching her.

Between January 2017 and March 2019, there were four topless images of another woman appearing to be sleeping at a house in Channel Street, Galashiels.

The third voyeurism offence involved a female he had been in a relationship with and happened on various occasions at a house in Edinburgh and Jedburgh between January 2019 and July 2020.

Degnan's lawyer said his client had lost job as a janitor as a result of the offences and had to move away from the Borders to Glasgow.

The first offender, formerly of Jedburgh, was given a Community Pay Back Order with supervision for two years as an alternative to custody.

He was also made subject of the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act for two years and a Non-Harassment Order involving the women was imposed for two years.